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THE HALLOWEEN SEASON is upon us, and a plethora of horror novels and stories will go trick-or-treating onto the shelves of bookstores and libraries. Edward Lee's Lucifer's Lottery takes us on a grisly, guided tour of hell, while James A. Moore's Blood Harvest returns to the town of Black Stone Bay for a tale of vampires and more. In Deadly Treats, 21 stories reflect the many facets of the season, from the horrific to the whimsical. [For more Halloween reads, see Neat Wyatt's The Reader's Shelf column, p. 115.--Ed.]
Both fantasy and sf make a strong showing this month. Piers Anthony, a veteran of both genres, tickles the funny bones of fantasy readers with his 35th "Xanth" adventure (Well-Tempered Clavicle). Comedy battles horror in Terry Richard Bazes's Lizard World. Fantasy on a grand scale shines in novels by Chris Evans (Ashes of a Black Frost), N.K. Jemisin (The Kingdom of Gods), and Richard K. Morgan (The Cold Commands). Sf offerings include David Weber's latest installment in his "Safehold" series (How Firm a Foundation), a new addition tO Steve Stanton's post-cyberpunk series (The Bloodlight Chronicles: Retribution), John C. Wright's new space opera (Count to a Trillion), and military sf from Steve White (Wolf Among the Stars).
This month's featured debut novel, Debris, presents a world in which fantasy and science combine and stars a failed architect as its embattled heroine. Urban fantasy dominates the mass market paperback scene with series that feature zombie PIs, spell-tracking hunters, FBI agents assigned to the supernatural, nonviolent vampires, and agents of the Fae.
Two additional short story collections--one by horror master Richard Matheson (Steel and Other Stories) and one by cyberpunk veteran Bruce Sterling (Gothic High-Tech)--round out the column, creating an Octoberfest for the imagination.
BACK IN PRINT
First published in 1953, Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth's The Space Merchants became a classic with its insight into a future dominated by business rather than government. Now revised and updated by Pohl, this farseeing novel enjoys a return to print in a trade paperback edition (Thomas Dunne, Dec. 2011. ISBN 9781250000156. $14.99).
CHECK THESE OUT
Anthony, Piers. Well-Tempered Clavicle. Tor. (Xanth, Vol. 35). Oct. 2011. c.320p. ISBN 9780765331342. $25.99. FANTASY
As they wander through Xanth searching for something worthwhile in which …